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KJV @400 Press Release

Events, Press releases

Subject:                400th Anniversary of the King James Bible
From:                   Rev Sandy Grant, Senior Minister
Date:                    Wednesday 7 September 2011


Ever escaped by the skin of your teeth, been a lesser light, ruled with a rod of iron, turned the other cheek or gone the second mile? Then you’ve encountered the King James Bible.

2011 is the 400th anniversary of its publication.  Its impact on Western culture can hardly be overstated.

David Crystal, perhaps the world’s foremost expert on the topic, agrees that no book has had greater influence on the English language  (Begat: The King James Bible & the English Language, Oxford University Press).

Even atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens decry biblical illiteracy.  In The God Delusion, Dawkins wrote,

The King James Bible of 1611 includes passages of outstanding literary merit … the main reason the English Bible needs to be part of our education is that it is a major source book for literary culture.
St Michael’s will host celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the KJV throughout September.
Events planned include:
  • A high school essay writing competition on the King James Version – with first prize of $100 for both junior and senior high ages, winners announced 25 September. (For more info, just google “King James essay comp”, or click here.)
  • A search for the oldest Bibles in the Illawarra with a view to displaying them on Sunday 25 September.
  • A Twitter feed for the best Tweet summarising the Bible’s message, using hashtag #KJV400gong.
  • Public lectures at St Michael’s:
    • “The Making of the King James Version” – Wednesday 14 September, 7:30pm,
    • “The Influence of the King James Version” – Wednesday 21 September, 7:30pm.
  • Sermons on the message of the King James Bible, all services, Sunday 25 September.
  • A public reading of 24 of the most famous chapters of the King James Bible, 12 from the Old and 12 from the New, from 12:30pm on Sunday 25 September, to be read by a variety of Christian leaders from the Illawarra. (I blog about the choice of these chapters here.)
The organiser of the celebrations, Rev Sandy Grant, is available for interview, or for a photo opportunity with an old Bible!


Our celebrations coincide with the visit to the UOW Library of a national touring exhibition of historic Bibles, sponsored by the Bible Society. The exhibition includes a first edition King James Bible, a Bible believed to have belonged to Shakespeare, a Bible belong to Sydney’s second Governor, John Hunter, as well as translations into indigenous languages. More information at


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